Montenegro - the Adriatic's last undiscovered secret...

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Montenegro - Nature & Landscape

Generous and miserly, cruel and graceful, fascinating nature of this country has always aroused excitement and inspiration.

“The most beautiful meeting of land and sea at the time of the birth of our planet” (J. G. Byron) has created many small bays and a large Bay of Kotor, hidden wild beaches and a thirteen kilometers long Velika plaža with healing powers.

White and gray waste land of limestone area rises above the coastline. “Sea of rocks” is only one segment of the sumptuous mosaic. In the central region there are the fertile Zetska and Bjelopavlićka plains and a bird paradise – Skadar Lake. Then there is a wreath of mountain ranges over 2,000 meters high. Apart from the peaks, they are adorned by woods, spacious pastures, forty lakes, impetuous and clean rivers, deep and mysterious canyons. The worlds of beauty are under water and underground – in many caves whose exploration has only begun.

Montenegro has five national parks. Durmitor with the Tara River Canyon is part of the world natural heritage. The Tara River Canyon is on the list of international biosphere reserves. As a rare wetland habitat Skadar Lake is included on the Ramsar List.

In 1991 Montenegro was proclaimed ecological state.

Set against the deep blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro, is home to some of the most stunning gorges, peaks, rivers and valleys in Europe

  • National Parks

Five areas in Montenegro have the status of national parks: Lovćen, Durmitor, Biogradska gora, Lake Skadar and Prokletije.

Their natural and cultural values are presented in visitors centers, and opportunities for active recreation are numerous. Besides the marked walking, hiking and biking trails, in the parks you can find thematic, educational and wine paths. There is also sports fishing, cruising, camping, adventure park, rent-a-bungalow…

Conquering peaks, viewing platforms, richness of flora and fauna, healing powers of water wells, herbs, national cuisine … There are many reasons to visit the national parks of Montenegro.

  • Lakes & Rivers

Mountain lakes are mostly glacier lakes, doomed to slow disappearance.

The largest are Crno jezero (the Black Lake), Plavsko and Biogradsko, and as for their beauty the following single out Hridsko, Zabojsko, Zminje, Škrčko, Trnovačko, Pešića Lake … Whether they embraced by coniferous trees or grass, their water is clean and pleasant for swimming in summer, and is always interesting to anglers. There are many legends about emergence of these lakes.

Skadar Lake collects water from the mountains intended for the Adriatic Sea. They are brought to the lake by the rivers Zeta, Cijevna and Morača and conveyed by Bojana to the sea. All others rivers rush to the Black Sea: Tara, Piva, Lim with a wide network of tributaries and streams. Waters are a great wealth of Montenegro: clean, fresh, mostly wild and impetuous, stronger than rock. They etch deep canyons, roll snow and trees, hide big fish, refresh and inspire…

  • Mountains

They add to a small state a lot of space, height and width, depth and shape.

Each mountain is a story for itself. Bjelasica is tame, Durmitor is unpredictable, Prokletije is the most beautiful mosaic, Sinjajevina is mystical, Orjen is porous, Komovi is proud, Moračke planine are demanding …

There are springs, streams, rivers, glacier lakes, cliffs and peaks to which clouds are rushing, caves, vast forests, pastures, villages and high mountain summer cottages, herds that graze freely, areas that no one has ever passed through … And all this in four variants, because seasons on the mountain are clearly distinguished. It is also true that snow remains on some mountains in the warmest days of August and then at about 2000 meters above sea level you can swim in the lake – and throw snowballs.

  • Canyons

The fact that the deepest canyon in Europe is in Montenegro is not accidental at all.

This whole area of high mountains is intersected by canyons whose grandeur is breathtaking. Roads pass through some of these and their verticals are well known (Morača, Cijevna, Piva and Ibar). You can discover others like the Tara River Canyon and canyon of the river Lim if you give yourself up to the wild waters, roaring rapids and waterfalls and emerald whirlpools while rafting or kayaking. A little more courage is needed for canyoning.

Synonym for canyoning in Montenegro is the canyon Nevidio, but even more difficult (the coldest and darkest) challenge is the canyon Grlje (Prokletije). Attractive are the canyons Škudre (Kotor) and Trebješice and Bogutovski potok (flows into the river Morača). However, these are only parts of the manuscript of water in the rocks and many have not been seen yet.

  • Wildlife

Interweaving of climate types, permanent rotation of southern and northern air currents make these areas suitable habitat for over three thousand plant species, including many endemic and relict species.

Especially significant is the wealth of medicinal and aromatic herbs, wild fruits and edible fungi. Dark conifer forest (spruce, pine, fir) are credited for the name of the country – Montenegro. This is the home of one of the two European virgin forests – Biogradska gora.

You can find over three hundred animal species, including some that are rare elsewhere. Apart from wolves, bears, chamois, doe, marten and lynx you can find otter, griffon vulture, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, hawk, tufted duck; Apollo butterfly, rocky mole, alpine shrew mouse, common Goldeneye … There are also significant species of amphibians, snakes, lizards, and most interesting is the triton – alpine newt.

  • Sea & Beaches

The Adriatic Sea is one of the warmest seas and is one of the cleanest and clearest seas rich in marine flora and fauna.

Through the Strait of Otranto it is connected with the central part of the Mediterranean Sea. Its width is greatest between Montenegro and Southern Italy (about 200 kilometers).

Contrast of enchanting waters of the Adriatic and gigantic Montenegrin mountains is softened by sandy beaches, sunsets and bays, Mediterranean and tropical plants, pine trees and olive groves and white towns along the coast. The contrast is apparent when you take the road from Kotor up the Lovćen serpentines. Each curve reveals a new, more magnificent, exciting and somewhat frightening view of the Bay of Kotor, “the beauty of beauties”, created according to the legend by the will of the god of the sea Poseidon himself.